By Richard R. Bozorth
The first full-length attention of Auden as a gay poet, this quantity exhibits that Auden's occupation was once tied to a strategy of homosexual self-interrogation exceptional in glossy poetry and argues that he was once pushed through a strong craving to understand the mental, political, and moral implications of same-sex hope.
Auden's theories approximately poetry within the Nineteen Thirties and after mirrored an extreme hindrance with easy methods to write publicly as a gay poet. That fight was once made show up in his love poetry, which Bozorth argues constitutes one of those "erotic autobiography" exploring the unique demanding situations of gay love.
Bozorth's technique is manifold, reading the poet's engagements with avant-garde poetics, homosexual lifestyle, psychoanalysis, leftist politics, and theology. This ebook proposes that from his early fascination with undercover agent and trickster figures to his later theories of poetry as an I-Thou relation, Auden considered poetry as a fictional yet primal erotic come across with the reader.
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Additional info for Auden's Games of Knowledge: Poetry and the Meanings of Homosexuality
In seeking to transform unspeakability from a condition of repression into a weapon against the uninitiated reader, these poems not only exemplify the Auden group’s fight against censorship, but dramatize it and critique it. i In 1988 Stephen Spender published The Temple, a novel first drafted in 1929 and based on his travels in Germany. The Temple recounts how Paul Schoner, a young Englishman, discovers in late-Weimar Germany the cult of youth and the male body, and its disturbing overlap with the rise of the Nazis.
As we shall see in chapter 1, the figure of the secret agent is the emblem in Auden’s early poetry of these contradictions at the level of the subject: wary of opponents, victimized by his own side, he disintegrates into enemy forces of desire and prohibition, implying that the closet does not mask an essential homosexual self so much as show it for a delusion. 14 Such a hope, explored in “1929,” Paid on Both Sides, and The Orators, is never unproblematic, since it is clearly at odds with Auden’s sense that the closet implies the dissolution of the subject.
Still, if coding bears witness to the constraints of the closet, the spy is also an empowering mask for the closeted poet precisely because he stays so overtly undercover. ” As a poetic game, it offers an openended exercise that does not expose the poet’s intentions so much as test the reader’s interpretive and erotic orientations. This poem has implications for the Auden group’s “joint war against censorship,” for if it testifies to discursive and erotic repression, its resistance is compromised by the very coding with which it contests the closet.
Auden's Games of Knowledge: Poetry and the Meanings of Homosexuality by Richard R. Bozorth